The agreement expired at midnight on December 31, 2011, when the United States completed its final withdrawal of troops from Iraq on December 16, 2011. The symbolic ceremony in Baghdad officially « cased » (withdrawal) the flag of American forces in Iraq, according to the tradition of the army.  The Aswat al-Iraq news agency reported a mixed reaction from the Iraqi population to the news that the cabinet had approved the agreement. Residents of the town of Sadr in Baghdad, a stronghold of Muqtada al-Sadr, said they believed the agreement was signed too quickly, while a wider « Vox Pop » of Iraqis across the country said they believed the agreement would become a point of disagreement.  « All strategic issues between our two countries will be on the agenda, including the future presence of U.S. forces in that country and the best way to support an independent and sovereign Iraq, » U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference Tuesday. On the same day, Secretaries Gates and Rice held secret closed-door briefings for U.S. lawmakers, and none of the officials spoke to reporters. Democratic Congressman William Delahunt said, « There was no meaningful consultation with Congress during the negotiations on this agreement and the American people were totally abandoned in all respects. » And Oona Hathaway, a Law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, called the lack of consultation with the U.S. Congress unprecedented and said aspects of the agreement go beyond the independent constitutional powers of the President of the United States.
 General Raymond Odierno stated that some U.S. forces would remain in local security posts, as training and tutoring teams would be in teams beyond the deadline set in the June 2009 Armed Forces Status Agreement. By contrast, Gates estimated that by June 30, U.S. troops will be « coming from cities and populated areas. » « That`s where we`ll have handed over the 18 provinces of the Iraqi province, » he predicted.  A spokesman for Odierno, Lieutenant-Colonel James Hutton, said that the soldiers in the cities were not combat troops, but « enablers » who would provide services such as medical care, air traffic control and helicopter assistance that the Iraqis cannot carry out themselves.  Odierno`s statements have sparked outrage from some Iraqi lawmakers who say the United States is paving the way for a violation of the interim agreement.  Continued security gains and the growing capacity and confidence of the Iraqi government and security forces are reasons why the United States and The Iraqis have been able to negotiate these agreements. The governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq reaffirmed their strategic partnership at a meeting of the Joint Coordinating Committee for Services, Technology, Environment and Transportation (STET) as part of the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) held in Washington, D.C, on September 25, 2013.